Page:The Present State of Peru.djvu/235

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205
THE FOUNTAIN.

and seven-twelfths only, to the part to which the water rises to diffuse itself.

At each angle of the level surface of masonry, appears a small basin formed in a socle; together with three salient ornaments, from one of which a pyramid, adorned with flowers in bas-relief, rises, and conveys, by the means of three tubes, the water to its basin, which is likewise fabricated of bronze.

This production of art, in every part of which an air of magnificence is combined with a fine architectural taste, is surrounded by twenty-four pieces of artillery, and by sixteen iron chains, which leave, in the centre and at the four angles, a narrow space barely sufficient to afford an access to the inhabitants.

If the description were to break off in this place, the short sketch that has been given might be deemed by the reader to be comparatively of little utility. It cannot fail to be agreeable to him to be made acquainted with the conduits by which the fountain is supplied with its water, and the artificial mode by which that fluid is distributed through the pipes.

In the small square of the college of St. Thomas there is a general reservoir, whence the water, destined for the public and private buildings throughout the city, is regularly distributed by different conduits. From the site of this reservoir to the foot of the fountain, there is a declivity of twelve yards and one-third. The water thus flowing precipitately, as well on account of the inclined plane, as of the impulse it received in its descent from its primitive source, is collected in an oval cistern, two yards and a half in height, and one and a half in diameter, where a dam is formed. Bounding impetuously, it escapes by the free passage which presents itself, with a de-

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